India Supreme Court rules sex with child bride is rape

Supreme Court

SC Says Sex With 'Minor Wife' Is Rape But Twitter Is Confused, Isn't Child Marriage Illegal?

The top court did not rule on "marital rape", which is sexual intercourse forced upon a spouse no matter what their age.

In a landmark order, the Supreme Court of India has held that a husband having sex with his minor wife, that is, a girl less than 18 years of age, amounts to rape.

According to the exception of section 375 of the Indian Penal Code that addresses rape, "Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape".

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta - in separate but concurring judgements - said the exception was "arbitrary, discriminatory and capricious".

"The exception in rape law under the IPC is contrary to other statutes, violates bodily integrity of girl child", the bench said.

As Deya Bhattacharya had written in this Firstpost article, in August, the Supreme Court had outdone itself earlier this week when it stated that "marital rape can not be considered a criminal act". "Otherwise, the children from such marriages will suffer", lawyer Binu Tamta said, claiming socio-economic realities of life in India can not be ignored.

Don't say Love Jihad every now and then: Kerala HC
While what sort of lure was offered is not known, the families of women feel there is a plot to convert them. The apex court had directed the NIA to probe if there was a pattern of the so-called love jihad in the case.

The Supreme Court said the exception is violative of Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

Under an amendment to Section 375 (which defines rape) of the IPC, sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape. But previously he was allowed to have sex with his wife if she was not below 15 years of age.

India's 2011 census showed child marriage had declined marginally from a decade earlier but more than 5 million girls were still married before the legal age of 18.

It also said child marriages were a reality in India where economic and educational development was uneven. Justice Lokur had asked in response.

While some hailed Supreme Court's decision, some also questioned why marriage below 18 years of age was even legal. "Parliament has extensively debated the issue of marital rape and considered that it was not an offence of rape".

These tweets make it seem like the Supreme Court was majorly confused about what exactly they wanted to make illegal and what they wished to legalise.

. The court said that immunity can not be granted to a husband who is having sexual intercourse with his wife between the age group.

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